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SGG episode #46: UW's Dr. Claudia Reardon leads in the "golden age" of mental health for athletes



Coaches are important educational leaders in our schools, communities, and universities. The Sport and the Growing Good (SGG) podcast provides embedded, front-line insights on winning and positive development. The SGG podcast can be heard here and on all major podcast platforms.

Claudia Reardon is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Claudia works with Badger athletics, the International Olympic Committee, the NCAA, and other leading sports in supporting the mental health of athletes. She’s published widely in the field and is recognized as one of the leaders in the field of sport psychiatry. In this SGG episode, we discussed:

1. Growing up in a household of high-level athletes – and what research tells us about having parents who exercise.

2. How she got into the field of sport psychiatry.

3. What her article, “Mental Health in Elite Athletes,” says about sleep and its impact on athletes (and why coaches need to be aware of this).

4. Insignificant sleep leaves athletes at higher risk of injury.

5. How can coaches optimize environments for mental health.

6. Common situations that can stress athletes’ mental health: times of high training load and injury times.

7. Communicating with parents about mental health.

8. Promoting psychological flexibility.

9. “Having a game-face on the field doesn’t mean you have to have a game-face off the field 24/7.”

10. Poor mental health is associated with heightened injury risk.

11. Mental health differences across sports. Reasons why individual sport athletes are at significantly higher risk of depression than other athletes.

12. Issues relating to body image and eating disorders.

13. Taking on a process-oriented outlook to foster growth.

14. The golden age of mental health.

15. The IOC’s diploma and certificate programs focusing on mental health in sport